It was later in the evening, and as I waited on the train station and looked around, I noticed something unusual. Everyone was looking at their phone. Every single person I could see on my platform, and the platforms around me was on their phone.
For good and for bad (and there's a bit of both), people are spending a lot of time on their mobile devices.
Benefits of an app
By creating an app, a church can serve up content that is easy for people to digest on their mobile. Most ‘church apps' provide similar range of benefits, including the ability to:
- Listen to/watch sermons
- Read news
- See upcoming events
- Share on social media
- Link to online giving
- Push notifications
Some providers have additional features including the ability to:
- Read the Bible
- Take notes
- Share prayer requests
- Create custom content
4 church app providers
There are several providers that make it easy for you to create an app for your church.
Most of these contain very similar features, and you can visit the website of each for a more detailed overview. Some of the key points of difference are:
- Pricing (and what you get for different prices)
- Platforms (whether the app works on iPhone, iPad, Android, etc)
- Customisation (the ability/ease of creating custom content)
Below are 4 in alphabetical order – if you are aware of others, let me know in the comments below.
Amped Church apps work on both iPhone and Android.
One of the features that sets Amped Church apart from the others is the ability to take notes – within the app. This is great for sermon note-taking.
To get the pricing for Amped Church, you need to fill out a form with your contact details.
Side note: This is a red flag for me – I don't understand why companies don't provide this information on their website. It happens all the time. I understand why they do it – they want your information to generate ‘leads' that they can follow-up. But, I'm not a fan, because it doesn't put the customer first – I shouldn't need to contact you to find out information on pricing.
After completing the form you receive details about their pricing and pricing philosophy:
Amped Church offers a unique pricing structure, because our heart is to help the local church reach people for Jesus. We want you to be able to reach as many people as possible, so we strategically do not sell “Android only” or” iPhone only” versions.
Our goal is to make great apps at an affordable price so that any church, no matter what size, can use technology to reach our culture. All of our plans include iOS & Android versions and all of our features, there are no set-up costs, no hidden fees, and no expensive add-ons.
This is their pricing for 2014:
- Two Year Plan: $99/month
- One Year Plan: $129/month
- Month-to-month: $199/month
You may also pay the entire contract upfront to save an additional 10% on your purchase!
The Church App
The Church App works on multiple platforms (including Windows Phone and Kindle Fire), but there are additional set-up and ongoing fees involved as you add more platforms (see Pricing below).
The Church App seems to be the most fully-featured app, and to be honest, their website provides the most compelling value-proposition. They have also developed apps for some well-known churches and ministries. The app builder (how you add content to your app) looks very easy to use too.
As with Amped Church, the pricing for The Church App isn't available on their website. To see more details on pricing, check out this overview of the packages and pricing.
There are also discounts if you pay annually, or sign-up to a 2-year contract.
On the higher pricing plans, you receive more platforms, push notifications and data storage/transfer.
Everchurch is for iPhone, with additional costs involved to have an app for Android and iPad (see below).
Everchurch has 3 different pricing options, plus the option to create a custom app:
The more you pay, the more you receive in terms of:
- Push Notifications
- Media Storage
This pricing is for iPhone only. There are also additional costs involved for having an iPad app, and an Android app. For example, for the Basic package:
ChurchLink provides 2 options – a branded app (with your own icon and launch screen), and a ChurchLink app – with the same features, but branded by ChurchLink.
ChurchLink works on iPhone and Android phone, with an app for iPad ‘coming soon'.
One of the nice features of ChurchLink is the Prayer Wall:
Users can post individual prayer requests, while others can respond and comment. The Administrator will have the ability to moderate posts to your church's prayer wall, giving full control of what's being posted. Your church can interact to prayer requests by “Committing to Pray” for prayer requests that have been posted to your app.
ChurchLink has 2 pricing options – one for the branded app, and one if you don't mind having the ChurchLink app:
Unify provides the standard features available in similar apps – events, giving, blog, etc. It has a great looking and easy to use website (which to be honest, makes their product look compelling too).
Unify apps are available for iPhone, iPad and Android.
Unify costs $100 per month per platform (e.g. iPhone, iPad or Android) – but there are no set-up fees. You can also pay $25 per month plus a one-time setup fee of $1,000 per platform.